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The South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) new rules to determine grant eligibility for the Social Relief of Distress grant have not been well received by civil organisations. The group believes that it only further places grant recipients in a vulnerable position of inconvenience.  



The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has fallen out of favour with some of its social grant recipients over the newly gazetted eligibility requirements for the Social Relief of Distress grant.

Civil society is not pleased with the government’s changes to social grants, including the removal of the bank verification as the final determination for means testing. Melanie McKernan from Pay the Grants explains that the changes are still inadequate.

She adds that Sassa’s means testing method to determine eligibility for the R350 grant is flawed in that, When Sassa finds that an applicant has been receiving money to cover their basic needs, they immediately deem that applicant ineligible for the grant.

The civil organisation’s spokesperson also went on to say that the proposed increase will be ineffective if that rule remains in place. However, the removal of the 3 month reapplication process was welcomed by the organisation and they hold the view that it should have not been in place from the very beginning of the grant’s implementation by Sassa. 
 
“It was just an unnecessary another regulation put in place that makes life difficult for the beneficiary’s application” McKernan added.
 
The organisation is also calling for issues of access and delivery, including making post offices available as pay stations, to be fixed.


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